Want to look fabulously high-end in any economy? It’s entirely possible to do so with a little help from Andrea Pomerantz Lustig’s new book, “How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank.” Here is an excerpt.
How to look expensive: an introduction
Having spent most of my adult life giving women beauty advice, I know that how you look affects how you feel. And though it’s not rocket science or nanotechnology, beauty matters. When you upgrade your look, you are setting yourself up to upgrade your life. To help you understand where I’m going, consider this: When a celebrity gets her first big role, she enters the Hollywood roller coaster of red-carpet events and 24-7 paparazzi coverage. It takes her a lot of time (and a lot of cash) to look as star-like off-screen as she does on-screen. But once the hair and makeup big guns get ahold of her, she begins to upgrade her look. And the more successful she gets, the more she spends looking the part. That’s what I want to do for you ... minus the price tag. I want to help you upgrade your image, stage your own “celebrity makeover.” This book gives you access to hundreds of thousands of dollars of beauty advice that I hope will change your life, or at least make you look and feel like a million bucks.
When I tell people I’ve written a beauty advice column for Glamour for ten years (on top of having been the beauty editor of Cosmopolitan for the ten years before that!), first they get jealous, then they start bombarding me with questions about all of their beauty problems. I get asked about everything: puffy eyes, pimples, fading lipstick, runny eye makeup, Restylane, wrinkles, moisturizers, hair products, hair color, Latisse, lash extensions ... you name it. They think I’m a walking encyclopedia of beauty knowledge and, truthfully, I guess I am. That’s because I’ve spent my career living, breathing, touching, and studying just about every beauty product on the planet. And that’s not even the most fun part of my job! As a beauty journalist and the original Glamour beauty blogger, I’ve developed an awesome Rolodex of A-list hair and makeup artists who ring me up with their celebrity beauty scoop almost as soon as it happens. I have close relationships with these artists — visiting them at their studios, breaking for coffee with them backstage at fashion shows, and trading tips with them over Skype, Facebook chat, or cell phone. By now I’m sure you get the picture that I’m sitting on a GOLD MINE of beauty advice; this book is filled with the priceless beauty stories and tips I’ve gleaned along the way.
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Of course actresses get all this pricey primping paid for by their movie companies, or else they can write off beauty services as a business expense (looking like a million bucks every time they walk out the door is, after all, a job for them). But how much would it cost a real woman to get the mega-exclusive, super–high-end beauty advice I get every day from my stylist pals? We’re talking $$$$$$$$$$$$$ GAZILLIONS, girls!
These days we’re all much more money conscious than we were before. Spending a bundle on your hair doesn’t seem so sensible when filling your tank with gas costs more than a haircut. And this means there is a huge disconnect between the price of beauty and the money real women can actually spend on it. Not to mention the hyper-high-end beauty ideal we’ve grown accustomed to as gorgeous A-list actresses glam up just to go to the supermarket (with paparazzi trailing 24-7, I don’t blame them!), and grace every magazine cover looking better and better even as they age (hello, Julianne Moore!).
Even our first lady has her own hair and makeup team, the first presidential wife to do so.
Surely this must be setting a new standard for the rest of us! And this led me to my EUREKA! moment: I can help bridge the gap between how we want to look and how we can afford to look by sharing my “wealth” of beauty knowledge — the tips, tricks, and techniques culled from both my beauty BFFs and the twentyplus years I’ve spent collecting, testing, seeing, and hearing the world’s best beauty advice.
Now I want to stop here and share a bit of my personal beauty philosophy to assure you that this book is not all about being vain and looking super wealthy (how shallow!) despite the title. I’ve always believed that improving your looks is a way to improve your life. Looking the part is part of getting the job, getting the promotion, getting the guy, having your best life. Sure, you can say I specialize in information that plenty of unknowing people might find irrelevant — lipstick, blush, pimples — but remember what I said about feeling like a million bucks when you look like a million bucks? I swear it’s true, and it’s what keeps me at it. Why? Because I believe that beauty is power. When your hair looks polished, you feel polished. When you get your skin under control, you feel more in control of your life. The right lipstick color can lift your mood better than Prozac. I also think it’s important to take a closer look at my title, “How to Look Expensive.” Notice that I didn’t call it “How to Look Loaded”or even “How to Look Rich.” That was very deliberate because to me, looking expensive is about looking chic and understated, polished and professional, your personal best. It’s not about being flashy or a show-off or showgirl (that’s a different kind of expensive). It’s luxe, not loud. More Paris, France, than Paris Hilton.
Reprinted from “How to Look Expensive” by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright © 2012 by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig.
© 2012 MSNBC Interactive